The provocative lyricism, admirable instrumentalism, and raw emotionalism characterize the music in Psychopath Etiquette’s EP, “Rough Draft”, and are a precursor for even greater things to come. The EP is the first collective work for the Maine-based brothers David and Paul Sprague and is a hint at the debut full album they are working on, poised to be released sometime in the future.
Browsing through the six-track album, “Rough Draft” is neither rough nor a draft. The album is seasoned and expertly produced with the enviable lyric-writing and intense chemistry of the Sprague brothers, chemistry born out of singing together since childhood.
Right off the bat, the album begins with the heartfelt and melancholic “Trash (Treasure)”. The track is brutal and honest, as the brothers relate their experience in love and life through lyrics like “She was my treasure, I was her trash”. The track sets the mood for the rest of the EP, a sequence of equally raw content sung to the background indie-folk and delicately soothing guitar chords.
The second track, “Life 9”, is a break from the overly melancholic mood that the opening track evokes. It is lively and energetic with a percussive backdrop and drum-beats. There is still a hint of sadness in both the lyrics and the Americana vocal singing style of the duo, a style, and technique echoed in the third track, “All My Time”.
An energetic break comes in with the fourth track, “Heart vs. Head”, a groovy song with a catchy rhythm that moves you and makes you want to move and dance to. Psychopath Etiquette goes back to their delicate lulling guitar chords on the fifth track, “Show and Tell”, in a story-telling style that is immensely soothing and pleasurable to listen to.
The EP culminates in the climactic final track, “When Anxieties Attack”, a track that crowns the immense talent displayed in the rest of the album. For the first time in the album, a piano joins the guitar melody in the largely melodramatic chorus. The song fills you with a yearning for the moments they describe in the colorful lyrics, a desire to immerse in the peaceful world of the music.
Psychopath Etiquette’s debut EP is music that leaves you in love with the band, and their music, even for listeners who aren’t indie rock fans. “Rough Draft” is groundbreaking music that leaves you hoping for more from the brother duo.